Corie Moe – Our Division. Our Stories.

Corie Moe, She/Her

Associate Director, Nevada Wolf Shop

About Me

I grew up in Carson City, Nevada with both parents and my brother. I spent lots of time crafting with my mother, going on family road trips, camping, and I always made my studies my number one priority. Growing up we talked about college and that was always the plan, though I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in even as a freshman. I was interested in working as a fashion merchandise buyer (which ironically I assist with in my current position at the Wolf Shop! ), however, that major was not available at UNR. By my second year, I declared my major in Business Marketing. During my education, I was a recruiter for Target Stores for management positions. I also worked for Mackay School of Earth Science and Engineering in the recruitment and retention department. Upon graduation, I worked for Target as a manager, then went to Mexico to teach English for a year. After returning to the USA, I returned to my management position at Target and eventually came back to campus to the Nevada Wolf Shop, where I’ve been working for almost six years.

Corie Moe








  • B.S. Business Administration, Marketing, University of Nevada, Reno

Work History

  • Associate Director, Nevada Wolf Shop, University of Nevada Reno, August 2012 to present
  • Manager, Target, January 2009 to August 2012
  • English Teacher, Leon Guanajuato, January 2010 to December 2012

Awards & Activities

  • Student Services Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee, 2013-2014
  • California Association of College Stores Committee, 2013
  • Plant-based diet coaching
  • Fundraiser through social media to support displaced orangutans in Borneo by selling homemade vegan cakes
  • I enjoy nature, cooking, baking and, yoga

When are you the happiest? 

I’m the happiest when I’m reading books and signing to my son in the evenings.

What is the last book you read?

I’m currently reading “Alkaline Plant Based Diet: Reversing disease and saving the planet with an alkaline based diet” and recently read “The Holistic Home: Feng Shui for Mind, Body, Spirit, and Space”.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Anywhere by the ocean. Being by the sea makes my spirit feel the most alive.

Describe one experience you’ve had where you took a huge leap of faith.

When my brother and I were on our flight home after a visit to Cancun, I told him, I’m going to go come live here. Three months later I left for my teach abroad job in Leon, Guanajuato. Best decision ever! I got to travel with students, colleagues, and friends and have been to so many places in the country. I also met my husband while I was there.

When have you seen your tenacity or resilience really pay off in a professional setting? What was the outcome?

My onboarding process at the university was challenging for me. I had various responsibilities given to me all at once. I had to learn a new culture, the store software, supervise student staff, and learn how campus operates to name a few. There were times where I second guessed myself, however, I’m glad I was resilient and persistent in learning my new responsibilities and building campus relationships. I now have many relationships with people on campus and within my department and it has been rewarding to see these change and develop over time.

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do? 

I’d like to thank my mother. She passed away when I was in high school. She raised me to be independent, which gave me strength after her passing.

What is one important skill every person should have?

Compassion. No one really knows what people have gone through or are going through in life, so it’s important to be caring and try our best to be kind to one another.

If you were to start a company from scratch, what values would you build it on?

Compassion, sustainability, and support.


This interview is part of a series entitled Our Division. Our Stories. that seeks to highlight some of the outstanding members of the Division of Student Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more information, please contact the Student Services Development and Engagement Committee

Kimberly Thomas – Our Division. Our Stories.

Kimberly Thomas, She/Her

Dean of Students

About Me

I am Kimberly Cooper Thomas.  I am southern born and southern raised by Lola and Charles.  My parents were first generation college students who retired from teaching after decades of work in public school predominately located in rural Alabama.  They made it clear that attending college was not optional and they surrounded me with a supportive village of family and friends to speak encouragement and affirmation into my life.

I attended the University of Alabama where I earned a bachelors degree in English with a minor in math in 1988.  I earned my juris doctorate at the University of Alabama School of Law in 1991.  I passed the Alabama State Bar in 1991 and the Florida State Bar in 1999.  I thought that I would be a sports attorney and speech writer for lobbyist or politicians because I loved sports and I had been a passionate student in high school and college.  To my surprise, I married a football coach and never lived in Alabama or described any other state as “home.”  I never imagined that I would live in Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida twice, Indiana, or Nevada.  I also never imagined that my work as a prosecutor, stay-at-home mom, and community volunteer would allow me to rediscover the student services work I performed in my youth in student government, residential life, and as a part of the orientation team.









  • Juris Doctor, The University of Alabama School of Law – Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Bachelor of Arts, English, The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL

Work History

  • Dean of Students, University of Nevada Reno, June 2018 to present
  • Assistant Dean, University of Nevada Reno, April 2016 – June 2018
  • Interim Assistant Dean, University of Nevada Reno, March 2015 – April 2016
  • Program Specialist, University of Nevada Reno, January 2015 – March 2015
  • Sanctions Coordinator, University of Nevada Reno, August 2014 – December 2014
  • Assistant City Attorney/Special Agent to the State Attorney, City of Tampa, October 1999 – October 2000
  • Paralegal/Assistant State Attorney, State Attorneys Office, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (FL), October 1997 – October 1999

Awards & Activities

  • Author of blog and publication, Sister In The Shadow
  • Student Services Division Blog submission
  • Student Services Division Research Group, Spring 2016 to present
  • Student Services Division Book Writing Group, since Spring 2016 to present
  • Keynote Speaker, Black Graduation Celebration, May 2016
  • Student Services Briefing Team, Spring 2015 to present
  • Student Intervention Team, Spring 2015 to present
    • Interim chair Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Summer 2017
  • Title IX Coalition, Spring 2015 to present
  • Deputy Title IX Administrator, Spring 2015 to present
  • Athletics Department Drug Testing Program Resource Group Member, Spring 2015 to present. Directs Safe Harbor Program, when needed, for student athletes.
  • Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee, Spring 2015 to present
  • Violence Against Women’s Act Campus Coalition Member, Fall 2016 to present
  • NevadaFit Skills Sessions Presenter, Fall 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • Food Services Committee, Fall 2017

Who inspires you? 

I am inspired by opportunities to connect people and ideas. I am most excited when the connections and collaborations meet needs, fulfill visions, or implement programming for the benefit of the community. I love it when people who may not know each other or have familiarity about the giftedness of the other can collaborate to accomplish outcomes that overshoot their initial expectations.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?


If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?

If I could host a talk show, my first guest would be Oprah.

What was your crossroads moment?

The decision to leave the workforce and become a stay-at-home mom was a major crossroads moment for me. I passed the Alabama State Bar in 1991 and decided to take the Florida Bar in 1999 so that I could return to the practice of law and live the life of working lawyer mom. Soon after becoming licensed and sworn in as an assistant state attorney, I realized the strain of working long hours without the support of family or trusted childcare after the day care and school closed. I resigned from my job and went home to face the feelings of loss, disappointment, confusion, and aggravation with what felt like a forced withdrawal from the career I loved. Now, years later, I own that decision and count it one of the greatest blessings in my life. My children (and many of the children in the communities in which I lived) became my greatest work product.

What’s the greatest bit of advice a mentor has given you?

I have had some amazing mentors in my life. One of my mentors, Mike Segawa, told me that, “Heroics have limits!” I think his statement was the cousin of the mentor statement from Phyliss Craig Taylor that I would be fine as an assistant dean in the conduct office as long as I “was ok with never being caught up and never being ahead.”

What would you most regret not having done by the end of your life? 

I will be most regretful if my mom’s side of the family does not have another family reunion before I die.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

The coolest thing I am working on right now is a social media campaign that will involve community members from all demographics of our campus.

You can follow Dean Kimberly Thomas on Twitter and Instagram.

This interview is part of a series entitled Our Division. Our Stories. that seeks to highlight some of the outstanding members of the Division of Student Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more information, please contact the Student Services Development and Engagement Committee

Assessing Access & Outcomes

Click here to access the Diversity Assessment Posters and discuss how you can make this information actionable.

These twenty-three posters reflect a collaborative effort across the division to apply a diversity-lens to information on access and outcomes. This is a deliberate exploration of the data we currently hold for the purpose of identifying gaps between student groups. Identifying and understanding the gaps (i.e. inequities) will help us create equality in opportunity and outcomes in pursuance of equity. Thank you for taking time to review these posters.

On Access or Equality in Opportunity

We can better prepare to engage under-served student groups on campus by applying a diversity-lens to identify gaps in access to opportunity. We must first determine who we serve and who we don’t before we can assess outcomes and impact. Assessments of outreach, enrollment, and exposure help us improve equality in opportunity when we are intentional about diversity and inclusion.  Twelve posters assess issues of access & equality in opportunity.

On Equality in Outcomes

Beyond educational opportunity, the assessment of outcomes forces us to ask if our services and programs are accomplishing what we expect – results matter. When we apply a diversity-lens to assess outcomes, we are assessing equality in outcomes. This is a necessary step before we can determine if our services and programs have an impact on University outcomes. Eleven posters focus on equality in outcomes.

On Creating Equity

Assessing equality in opportunity and outcomes should drive us to be more strategic improving the outcomes of students with the greatest need. When we design services to improve the outcomes of the students who need it most, our services and programs better serve everyone. By first identifying students most in need and then assessing our impact on their outcomes, we use our limited resources more strategically. Seven posters address issues of equity in outcomes.

Take time to discuss and deliberate what makes the information on these posters ACTIONABLE!
How can you use or apply the information and insights to your service or program?
This poster session made information accessible in small bites, but you can make it actionable.
Make a comment here, email the contact person for the poster, or send your thoughts to Jennifer Lowman for inclusion in division-wide planning and assessment.


Ellen Houston – Our Division. Our Stories.

Ellen Houston, She/Her

Director of Upward Bound Programs

About Me

With 20 years of experience in higher education, Ellen is currently Director of the Upward Bound Programs and the Upward Bound Math Science Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. She serves as project director for the four federally funded grants serving 246 first-generation, income-qualified students at eight target high schools in Washoe and Lyon counties. Her responsibilities include fiscal management of programs, compliance with federal laws and regulations, assessment, personnel administration, and collaboration with program stakeholders.

Prior to Upward Bound, she held the position of Assistant Director in the Center for Student Cultural Diversity. Ellen has also worked in the areas of University Alumni Relations and Intercollegiate Athletics.

Ellen lives in Sparks with her husband and two daughters. She spends what little free time she has on traveling, reading, and wake surfing at Lake Almanor. She also coaches her eldest daughter’s volleyball team.

Ellen Houston Photo


  • Master of Arts, Counseling and Educational Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno

Work History

  • Director, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Programs, UNR, 2012-
  • Assistant Director/Counselor Coordinator, Center for Student Cultural Diversity, UNR, 2008-2012
  • Adjunct Faculty, TMCC, 2009-2011
  • Access Program Counselor, Student Success Services, UNR, 2004-2008
  • Alumni Program Manager, UNR, 2000-2004
  • Special Events Coordinator, Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, 1999-2000
  • Events Coordinator, Wolf Pack Intercollegiate Athletics, UNR, 1998-1999
  • Communication Specialist, Harrah’s Reno, 1996-1998

Awards & Activities

  • 2018 WESTOP Annual Conference Silent Auction Chair
  • Nevada WESTOP Chapter, Legislation and Fair Share Chair
  • Co-Chair, 38th Annual WESTOP Regional Conference, 2016
  • Multicultural Greek Council Advisor of the Year, 2011 & 2012
  • Advisor, Lambda Phi Xi Multicultural Sorority, 2010-Present
  • Block N Captain, Nevada Volleyball Alumni
  • Head Coach, St. Albert’s 5th Grade Volleyball

What aspect of your personality adds the most value to the world?

I think my passionate belief in social justice and educational equity motivates me to work very hard on behalf of the first-generation, income-qualified students in UB/UBMS. It is what those students go on to do that adds greater value to the world.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?

I really admire people that are patient and laid back, as I am neither of those things. I want things done right and completed quickly. I am a totally competitive and organized Type A personality.

If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?

I would love the opportunity to talk with Lin-Manuel Miranda. I admire that he is a visionary, creative genius with a demonstrated commitment to social justice, and yet at the same time he seems quirky, fun, and completely relatable. My daughters and I are obsessed with Hamilton. We know every word by heart and quote it to each other constantly. We have tickets for a performance in May, and we could not be more excited.

How do you make difficult decisions?

My natural inclination is to be a value-directed decision-maker who moves quickly. So, if the decision is a difficult one, I am mindful to take plenty of time to dispassionately weigh all possible outcomes. I also talk it over with a few people whose judgment I trust. In the end, I do what I think is best and accept responsibility for the consequences.

When have you seen your tenacity or resilience really pay off in a professional setting? What was the outcome?

In the 2016-2017 academic year, I co-authored five TRIO grants for the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science competition. The guidelines were particularly rigorous and I felt so much pressure to keep the funding and our jobs. I have never worked that hard in my life. There were weeks where I barely slept, and I didn’t take a weekend off for months. I got up at 4 a.m. every morning on a UB college tour to write before spending a 15-hour day chaperoning students. In the end, all our continuing grants were funded for the next five years, and we were awarded a new Upward Bound Math Science grant. All that work was totally worth it, but I’m glad the grant competitions only happen every five years!

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?

I thank Rita Escher all the time for hiring me as the Upward Bound Director. I had professional experience in educational equity programs, but I did not have any real TRIO experience. She took a chance on me, and for that, I am forever grateful. Rita also empowered me as a professional in a way I had not previously experienced. Over the past few years, I have become comfortable in my leadership style, learned not to sweat the small stuff, and gained confidence in my professional expertise. I credit much of that to Rita’s outstanding mentorship. Whenever I start to waver on something, I can always hear Rita telling me to, “Lean in!”

What is one important skill every person should have?

The ability to communicate effectively in writing.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Building the Upward Bound Math Science program from scratch has been fun and challenging. It takes a huge amount of work to set-up an entire grant program in one year. It has been both difficult and exciting for the UB/UBMS staff to deal with all this change. Right now, we are working on how to accommodate the growth in our upcoming Summer Academy. We will have 110 high school students living on-campus for five weeks this summer.

This interview is part of a series entitled Our Division. Our Stories. that seeks to highlight some of the outstanding members of the Division of Student Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more information, please contact the Student Services Development and Engagement Committee

The Assessment’s Gap

By Austin Connell
May 2018 graduate
College of Education
Human Development and Family Studies     

picture of Austin Connell One of the main components of my internship with Dr. Ellis this semester was to go to each department within Student Services and assess the impact it is having on students. Is that department helping with retention at the university? Is that department aiding students in their quest for their degree? Is that department making a difference? And most importantly, where are the gaps that we need to fill?

As a student who has worked in Residential Life for 4 years, created and held multiple internships at 2 different universities, and devoted my entire college career to aiding students in any way possible, I thought I had a fair representation of what it meant to be in the Student Affairs profession. Wow, was I wrong. Every department within Student Services is so vastly different, yet connected through a common goal, “to help every member of our learning community succeed”.[1]

One thing that became clear throughout this internship is that we can do all of the assessments we want, but if we never look for gaps then we won’t improve our impact. Assessments can be our best friend, but also our worst enemy. People can look at assessments and see the things they are doing right and then go, “Oh, we are doing so well, we do not need to change.” Wrong. This is what makes assessments our worst enemy. While they highlight what we are doing well, they also reveal what we are not doing so well, and these deficiencies are hidden underneath the positives. We need to stop looking at just the positives and also look at what we are not doing so well– a.k.a. the gaps.

People would be delusional to think that they do not have gaps in their departments or their systems. Those gaps exist and it is our job to find them; that way we can create a department, a service, and a division that better provides for our students. While meeting with our departments, I was able to see where we have gaps and where we can improve.

Continue reading ‘The Assessment’s Gap’ »

Chris Carver – Our Division. Our Stories.

Christina Carver, She/Her

Office Manager; Residential Life, Housing, and Food Service

About Me

I’m really just a gigantic nerd disguised as a functional adult. I’ve worked in comic book stores on two continents, like playing arcade games, was a semi-professional belly dancer for 21 years, and love spending time with my husband and two children. My family moved to Reno towards the end of 1974 so my father could attend the University of Nevada, Reno, and I’ve lived here almost exclusively since then.

Chris Carver Photo


  • Master of Education, Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Bachelor of Science, Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno

Notable Internships & Awards

  • Staff Employees’ Council, Chair, 2016-2017
  • Staff Employees’ Council, Vice Chair, 2015-2016
  • Certificate of Recognition, “Celebrating University of Nevada Women”, Spring 2004
  • Staff Employees’ Council, Secretary, 2003-2004
  • Staff Employees’ Council, Vice Chair, 2002-2003

Who inspires you?

This sounds like the Oscars, but my mom is my greatest inspiration. My mom raised us as a single mother, and even though she thinks she somehow damaged me for life, I think she did a bang up job. She is currently retired, where she struggles to find time for all of her hobbies; weaving, spinning, knitting, ink block art, soap making, and Tai Chi.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?

Patience. Because I need more.

Where’s your favorite place in the world?

Trier, Germany. I could move there tomorrow. It’s a college town about the size of Reno, except they speak German and eat pommes frites!

Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with this situation?

Life is a series of failures that lead you to succeed. I’m not afraid of failing because I know I’ll learn something from it.

Tell me about a situation in which you have had to adjust to changes over which you had no control. How did you handle it?

My entire time as a military wife was full of change. I learned quickly that I either had to be part of the solution. I joined the enlisted wives group and helped in any way I could.

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?

Even though I only speak to her a few times a semester, Paige Hurley is my “Go-To” person on campus. I feel like she knows everything and I really could spend the next ten years learning from her. She is the Queen of Calm.

What would you most regret not having done by the end of your life?

I need to travel more!

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Is my Master’s an acceptable answer, because it’s ONLY thing I’m working on right now! It will be cool when I’m done!!! I’m going to have a t-shirt made up with my diploma on it. Yes, I will wear it everywhere.

This interview is part of a series entitled Our Division. Our Stories. that seeks to highlight some of the outstanding members of the Division of Student Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more information, please contact the Student Services Development and Engagement Committee

Jim Fitzsimmons – Our Division. Our Stories.

Jim Fitzsimmons, He/Him

Director, Fitness and Recreational Sports

About Me

I’m just a guy who has allowed his passions to guide his purpose. I have been lucky enough to travel most of the world and it has convinced me relationships and experiences matter more than all of life’s trinkets. I find 99% of what people obsess about on a daily basis really doesn’t matter in the big picture.

Jim Fitzsimmons Photo


  • Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Master of Science, Physical Education, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Bachelor of Science, Physical Education, University of Nevada, Reno

Professional Work Experience

  • First Responder (Paramedic, Police Officer)
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Elementary School, High School Teacher
  • Community College, University Professor
  • Fitness and Recreational Sports Director

Notable Internships & Awards

  • 6th Place at the 2012 Crossfit Games
  • Selected as Top 40 Collegiate Rec Leader

Who inspires you?

Anyone who refuses to accept conformist wisdom. Anyone who says, “I will” and then does, when everyone says, “you can’t.”

What are you currently watching on Netflix?

I’m not. Life is not a spectator sport.

What’s the last book you read?

I just finished: The Case Against Sugar, The Shell Collector, and The American Sphinx: The Character of Jefferson. It seems like I always have three or four going at the same time.

Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with this situation?

Oh man there are SO many! I study the failures more than the successes, there isn’t much to be learned from success, but failure? If you’re paying attention and taking responsibility, there’s a whole lot of learning to be had. I don’t believe we truly fail until we quit or blame someone else, so I don’t ever quit, and I don’t blame.

Discuss a time when your integrity was challenged.

I find we are asked to compromise our integrity on a daily basis. We live in an age of entitlement and it has become common for people to expect you to compromise your integrity to appease their wants at the drop of a hat.

How did you handle it?

I don’t go there. Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandpa Doug who was a WWI combat veteran who fought from the second year of the war until the armistice. A large man, a kind man, a man whose body was heavily disfigured from his wounds, a man whose words are still with me today. “Your integrity is married to those most sacred things that comprise your character. Once you let go of one, you inevitably let go of the others and then what? You are ruined”.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last year?

That everything I learned on the playground in grade school is more important than anything I’ve learned since.

What is one important skill every person should have?


What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

My son’s and I are building a zip-link that should result in several trips to the emergency room.

This interview is part of a series entitled Our Division. Our Stories. that seeks to highlight some of the outstanding members of the Division of Student Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more information, please contact the Student Services Development and Engagement Committee

Saundra Mitrovich – Our Division. Our Stories.

Saundra Mitrovich, She/Her

Outreach and Retention Coordinator
The Center: Every Student. Every Story

About Me

Saundra Mitrovich was born in Paradise, California and raised in Oroville, California and is an enrolled member of the Tyme Maidu Tribe of the Berry Creek, Rancheria as well as a descendant of the Yahmonee Maidu Tribe in Quincy, California.

Saundra’s professional interests include strengthening educational pipeline programs for communities, creating and strengthening community partnerships with higher education institutions, developing opportunities for students to participate in research and presentation, developing civic engagement opportunities, and participating in service learning projects. Her educational journey includes undergraduate degree in History and Ethnic Studies and graduate work in Native American Studies.

Saundra Mitrovich Dear World Photo

Professional Work Experience

  • Educational Talent Search Program (Open Doors-TRIO), Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Student Support Services Program (TRIO), Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Tribal Civilian Community Corps, AmeriCorps, Nenana, Alaska
  • AmeriCorps VISTA program, North Pole, Alaska

Notable Internships & Awards

  • Smithsonian’s Artic Studies Center, Anchorage, Alaska
  • McNair Scholar, Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Nominated Change Maker, White House United Summit of Women, Washington, D.C.
  • Nevada Native Youth Services Ambassador/Role Model of the Year


  • Masters of Arts in Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • Bachelor of Arts in History/Ethnic Studies, Cameron University, Lawton/Ft. Sill, Oklahoma

What has been your proudest professional accomplishment?

My proudest professional accomplishment is working in the first position I held in higher education as a coordinator with a Talent Search program in Lawton, Oklahoma at Cameron University. It was my first professional position at a University and working with students and really talking to them about their journey to college.

I feel like that was a very proud moment because it made me realize what I really wanted to do and that I was capable of doing work in higher education.

If you could, who would you trade places with for a day?

Oh goodness, I thought about this question and I think I would most likely swap places with a kindergartner for the day, and the reason I thought about this is because I think about going back to arts and crafts, care-free time, and learning new things; the world just looks amazing through that lens and I would love to reconnect with that energy.

What is the best piece of advice that you have received from a mentor?

I truly believe mentors that you work with, and I’ve had some great mentors over time, they tend to start to see your personality and who you are and one of my mentor’s greatest pieces of advice to me is to find the balance in everything that you’re doing. I think that’s something I truly still try to work on.

“My mentor’s greatest pieces of advice to me is to find the balance in everything that you’re doing”

Tell us about an experience that required you to take a leap of faith.

I would say that one experience I took a huge leap of faith in, is when I met my husband in Alaska. When I met him I was at the end of the year of my AmeriCorps VISTA contract. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. Usually when you’re finished you go back home or you move on to another career. I met my husband, Sam, and he got re-stationed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma from North Pole, Alaska and he asked if I would take that journey with him. That was a huge leap of faith. Driving down though Canada across the country to Lawton Fort Sill, Oklahoma from the great Northwest and really trying to see if this would be my partner. He is my partner, my husband now, and we’ve been together 18 years and so it was definitely a huge leap of faith to leave a job, family, friends, and go to a place I’d never been to, but also to start a new journey with my future husband.

Tell us about a time of failure in your life. How did you overcome?

So thinking about times of failure, I think for me it would be when you apply for a position. You put yourself out there, you go through an interview process, and you hope that you’ll get the job. It was the first time I ever applied for a director position and it was for a Boys and Girls Club and it was in my early 20s. I knew that I didn’t necessarily have all the supervisory experience and there were some things that I knew I needed to gain some more exposure to, but I thought, I’m gonna try it out. That was challenging because it was my first failure, not getting a job that I really thought I would maybe like doing. But what I learned from that experience is how to look at job descriptions, challenge myself to gain new experience, and really make myself competitive for jobs in the future.

What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now?

The coolest thing I’m working on right now, which is really exciting for me, is the ‘I-RISE’ program here in the Intertribal Higher-ed Program (IHEP). It’s the Indigenous Research Institute for Student Empowerment program. It’s an opportunity to truly engage our American Indian and Alaska Native students and really strengthen their voice in higher education, but also strengthen their voice within their disciplines. For students that are going into medical school, law, or community health, whatever they may be going into, it’s about really challenging them to think about bringing their perspective from their community, their culture, into the research that’s currently being done and also finding ways to publish that information. It’s really just challenging our students and giving them the opportunity to participate in research, participate in conferences, and strengthening their voice.

“It’s an opportunity to truly engage our American Indian and Alaska Native students and really strengthen their voice in higher education”

If you were to start a company, what values would you found it on?

I would build it on loyalty, trust, and honesty. I also believe a company really should be thinking about the ethics and how they do business. Are you being intentional about putting the best product out there? What are you hoping to do with this product or with this service? Are you improving the life of the person that’s involved? Are you doing something that’s going to add real, true healthy value?

What is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place in the world, hands down, is my grandmother’s home in Berry Creek, California. The best place about going to Berry Creek and growing up there is that there’s no Wi-Fi. You have to unplug and all you can do is spend time in the great outdoors, read, and just spend time with family. It’s beautiful, it smells wonderful and it’s just a place to go reconnect.

If you could tell one person thank you, who would it be?

If I could tell one person thank you, I believe that it would be my parents. My parents were always my biggest supporter, they were the ones who challenged me to do everything that I have set out to do now: go to school, get an education, travel, participate in sports, continue to push myself, never give up. That’s one thing that they always taught us as children is to never give up. They taught us a work ethic, if you want it then you have to work for it. I truly believe that’s a mentality I have every day, if I want something then I have to go after it. I can’t rely on somebody else to give it to me. I really appreciate the sound and strong work ethic that they have instilled in me and I believe that if I could give them the biggest thank you, it would be for that.

This interview is part of a series entitled Our Division. Our Stories. that seeks to highlight some of the outstanding members of the Division of Student Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more information, please contact the Student Services Personnel Committee

Class of 2016: First Year Employment Outcomes

By Lisa Maletsky & Mary T Calhoon
Office of Student Persistence Research
Nevada Career Studio

Where do University of Nevada, Reno students end up when they graduate? It’s the question on the mind of any college senior who walks into the Career Studio. Increasingly, it also is the question of prospective students and their families, university alumni, state legislators, and employers. Data about graduates’ career outcomes when they first leave UNR is an important demonstration that a degree from UNR offers a great return on investment.

In 2015 the Nevada Career Studio began conducting a survey of all graduating students to find out more about where they land in the first year after graduating from UNR. The survey was constructed and delivered based on national protocols defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE). Three cycles of the survey opened a month before each graduation and remained open for one year after graduation. Students had the ability to respond or update prior responses at any point while the survey was open. Results for the Class of 2016 (including students who graduated in August 2015, December 2015, and May 2016) were published in June of this year.

The survey data was able to account for the career outcomes of 55% (2,022 out of 3,704) of total graduates, after allowing for administrative follow-up to supplement direct survey responses (for example, recording students’ updates to LinkedIn profiles). Therefore, the findings provided an excellent snapshot of immediate post-graduation outcomes. Continue reading ‘Class of 2016: First Year Employment Outcomes’ »